Hobbledown-perfect for children & adults alike-great place to take grandchildren!
I visited Hobbledown (Epsom area) in May when my niece & children came to stay for a few days. (The children were around 2 years and 5 months old at the time.)
Previously this place had been called Horton Childrens Farm and I had visited it many times with various members of the family over the years .It had become quite ramshackle over time but it had always provided lots of fun & pleasure with a real family feel.
I was pleased to see that although the reputed £5 million(?) refit had vastly improved many of the amenities (and with many new ones added) yet it seems to have retained the character & friendliness of a family run business as before which was a relief. There was so much to see and do … the meercats were my favourites amongst the animals … and the indoor & outdoor activity centres were a hit with 2 year old Josh (see photos). There were plenty for every age group and some were suitable for parents to accompany their offspring too! (see photo). For 5 month old Lilia there was a “sensory” area within the indoor centre (see photo). The indoor activity centre also housed the excellent catering facilities which we took advantage of. There was lots of variety & the food was reasonably priced. It goes without saying that toilet facilities were excellent too.
Every member of staff we came into contact with were really friendly & helpful whether in the cafe (they took time to interact with Josh asking what he would like to eat) or the animal centres. One of the staff, Matthew was great with Josh when he wanted to stroke one of the rabbits in the handling area (see photo). It was a great way to spend an afternoon and to be honest the amenities are so varied and plentiful you could easily spend the whole day there. You are welcome to take a picnic and there are plenty of outdoor seating areas .
They have their own Facebook page and the main website is www.hobbledown.com. Prices are varied with reductions midweek after 3pm and concessions & special passes are available.(see website for details. They have a strict policy of only admitting adults accompanied by children & vice versa-they state that activities are suitable for children up to the age of 14. There is plentiful parking and it is easily accessed with good signage in the area. Although I didn't see anyone in wheelchairs etc during our visit there were plenty of parents with pushchairs etc.
I am already looking forward to my next visit.